We Are the Revolutionists: German-Speaking Immigrants and American Abolitionists after 1848 (Hardback)Mischa Honeck (author)
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Widely remembered as a time of heated debate over the westward expansion of slavery, the 1850s in the United States was also a period of mass immigration. As the sectional conflict escalated, discontented Europeans came in record numbers, further dividing the young republic over issues of race, nationality, and citizenship. The arrival of German-speaking "Forty-Eighters," refugees of the failed European revolutions of 1848-49, fueled apprehensions about the nation's future. Reaching America did not end the foreign revolutionaries' pursuit of freedom; it merely transplanted it.
In We Are the Revolutionists, Mischa Honeck offers a fresh appraisal of these exiled democrats by probing their relationship to another group of beleaguered agitators: America's abolitionists. Honeck details how individuals from both camps joined forces in the long, dangerous battle to overthrow slavery. In Texas and in cities like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Boston this cooperation helped them find new sources of belonging in an Atlantic world unsettled by massive migration and revolutionary unrest.
Employing previously untapped sources to write the experience of radical German emigres into the abolitionist struggle, Honeck elucidates how these interethnic encounters affected conversations over slavery and emancipation in the United States and abroad. Forty-Eighters and abolitionists, Honeck argues, made creative use not only of their partnerships but also of their disagreements to redefine notions of freedom, equality, and humanity in a transatlantic age of racial construction and nation making.
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Number of pages: 260
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
Extraordinarily well researched . . . Honeck argues persuasively that these Forty-Eighters drew upon Enlightenment ideology to champion equality and racial reform by challenging privilege and hierarchy in the United States, just as they had tried unsuccessfully to do in Europe.--John David Smith "Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte "
We are the Revolutionists is transnational history at its best. Delineating the intricate ways in which the German American and the African American experiences of American slavery and racism intersect, Mischa Honeck's well researched and compellingly argued analysis not only offers powerful examples of transatlantic alliances in the struggle against slavery; he also captures the limits of this interethnic interaction in a period of fierce renegotiations of nation, race, class, gender, and religion.--Maria Diedrich "author of Love Across Color Lines: Ottilie Assing and Frederick Douglass "
Lucidly written, with a focus on the human story, this fascinating volume tells the story of the fight to abolish slavery in the U.S. with a new perspective: the active role played by radical democrats from Germany, who had immigrated to America after the war of 1848, and went on to fight alongside abolitionists to spread their ideals that all should be free.--Book News
Breaks important new ground in examining the interactions between the Anglo and German American elites in the antislavery movement and extends explorations of the transatlantic dimension of the abolition movement beyond Britain to continental Europe . . . . Unquestionably demonstrates the value of a transnational perspective and the wealth of U.S. history buried and unexploited in languages other than English.--Walter D. Kamphoefner "American Historical Review "